Local News Archives for 2016-04

French Immersion Students Visit KVPI Studios

 The children’s choir of the French Immersion Program at Prairie Elementary School in Lafayette visited KVPI studios today (Saturday) to record part of a performance they gave earlier at stops in Eunice that included the Chapelle Country Store and the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural. The members are 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders of Prairie Elementary Lafayette French Immersion Program. The teachers are  Sabrina Benazzous, Jean-Philippe Warlet and Sophie Zaoui and come from Belgium and France. We plan to play back their recorded performance Thursday at 12:30pm on KVPI AM and FM. The students recorded the Pledge of Allegiance in French and an ID in French that listeners will hear on a regular basis.

Chamber of Commerce Awards Outstanding Citizens at Annual Banquet


      The Ville Platte Civic Center hosted the annual Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Thursday night. Here are the winners:

Ville Platte Man of the Year- Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel

Ville Platte Woman of the Year: Two were selected- Diana Freeman-Johnson and Becky Buller;

Business Person of the Year: Two were selected- Scott and Amy Dupre with B&S Grocery and Luke DeVille with Teet’s Food Store;

Business of the Year- H.L. Pitre and Sons

Agricultural Person of the Year- Larry Fontenot

   The guest speaker for the occasion was retired Lt. General Russell Honore’. Listen for a special interview KVPI News Director Stephanie Ware will have with General Honore’ next week.

Parish President Reinstates OEP Director

President of The Evangeline Parish Police Jury, Ryan Ardoin, has reinstated 911 Director, Liz Hill, back in to the dual role of Office of Emergency Preparedness Director.  KVPI News has spoken with Ardoin who says he feels it was the “right thing to do.”  He stated “Ms. Hill has worked very hard for the Parish and is very good at what she does.  She has not done anything wrong or out of the ordinary and I believe she needs to remain in the position.”  Ms. Hill resigned from the position during an open Police Jury meeting Monday after what numerous Jurors describe as a “minor situation blown out of proportion.”  Ardoin reports that Ms. Hill has agreed to continue her work with the Jury.  Tune in Friday at Noon as we sit down and talk to the Parish President about the situation and other things happening in Evangeline Parish.

Ville Platte Landmark Home Destroyed in Fire Thursday Night

Fire investigators with the Ville Platte Fire Department with help from the state fire marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire that damaged the Dr. R.E. Dupre home on West Main Street Thursday night. The landmark home constructed in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s by Dr. Dupre had been vacant for the past few years. For many years, the home was considered a showcase and a landmark. As soon as we get more details on the fire we will share it with you. Photo compliments of KVPI News Director Stephanie Ware.

The Winning Just Keeps Going on KVPI

KVPI has been in ticket giveaway mode and we recently gave listeners a chance to win tickets to see Foreigner at the Paragon Casino on April 22nd and tickets to The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival the weekends of April 22nd and April 29th.  When listeners heard the “Jukebox Hero” and “Brown-Eyed Girl” cues to call, they needed to call in to be qualified for our drawings that took place Monday, April 18th and Tuesday, April 19th.  Congratulations to our lucky winners:


Foreigner tickets were awarded to:


Weber Deshotels, Jr.

Annette Granger

Carrie Aucoin

Shirley Guillory and

Kathy Bordelon


New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival tickets were awarded to:


Jenny Semien

Lisa Hansen

Melissa Pommier

Roderick Dupre


And the Grand Prize of three tickets to get into the festival went to:


Abby Vidrine


Keep listening for more chances to win on Classic Hits 92.5

Ville Platte Police Department Arrest Report

According to the Ville Platte Police, the following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail:


Keiara Calvin, Age 21 – arrested for Disturbing the Peace and Simple Battery and is currently out on a $950.00 bond;


Murphy Lemelle, Age 35 – arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Intoxication, Theft, Remaining After Forbidden, Criminal Damage to Property, Criminal Mischief and Prohibited Acts and is currently out on a $4,800.00 bond;


Christopher Ducote, Age 37 – arrested for Discharging a Firearm and is currently out on a $2,500.00 bond;


Kizzy Fontenot, Age 36 – arrested for Improper Suspension/x2 and currently out on a $500.00 bond;


Bonnie Leday, Age 53 – arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery, Simple Battery and Resisting an officer and is currently incarcerated;


Darlene Jackson, Age 43 – arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery, Prohibited Acts and Resisting an Officer and is currently incarcerated;


Sunnie Veillon, Age 31 – arrested for Theft of Goods and Misrepresentation during Booking and is currently out on a $700.00 bond;


Gladys Pleasant, Age 50 – arrested for Remaining After Forbidden and is currently incarcerated;


Joseph Morgan, Age 27 – arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery and currently out on a $1,000.00 bond; and


Douglas Fontenot, Age 17 – arrested for Distribution with Intent to Distribute and Paraphernalia and currently incarcerated on a $5,000.00 bond.

New Miss Lafayette is Evangeline Parish Resident


APRIL 17, 2016


     The new  2016 Miss Lafayette is Carly Chaumont, a resident of the Turkey Creek area. She was selected Saturday night during the pageant at Homewood Suites in Lafayette. She replaces the outgoing queen, Rachel North. Carly was among nine contestants who entered the contest to represent the City of Lafayette.

    Carly is an air personality at KVPI and is attending LSU-Alexandria majoring in mass Communications. She has been involved in pageants since age 16. In 2011, she was Miss Evangeline Parish Farm Bureau, in 2012 she was Miss Boggy Bayou Queen, in 2013 Miss Ville Platte, in 2014, Carly was Miss Louisiana Fur and Wildlife from Cameron and this past year she was Miss Rayne Frog Festival.

   As Miss Lafayette, Carly will represent the city in official functions and work with charity organizations in the Lafayette area. She will also compete in the Miss Louisiana USA pageant in Metairie October 7 and 8 representing the City of Lafayette.

   Congratulations Carly.

Ville Platte Police Department Arrest Report

According to the Ville Platte Police Department, the following individuals were arrested and booked into the Ville Platte City Jail:


Krystal Clark, age 50 – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Disorderly Conduct and has bonded out on a $200.00 bond;


Marcus Arvie, age 42 – Arrested for Disturbing the Peace by Intoxication and remains incarcerated on a $500.00 bond;


Darryl Riley, age 20 – Arrested for No Reflective Gear and Disorderly Conduct and has bonded out on a $400.00 bond;


Courtney Gary, age 20 – Arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery and has bonded out on a $1,000.00 bond;


William Wise, age 17 – Arrested for Domestic Abuse Battery and has bonded out on a $1,000.00 bond; and


Kelly Segura, age 34 – Arrested for Criminal Mischief and has bonded out on a $200.00 bond.

Evangeline Parish School Board Recognizes Talented and Students of the Year

The Evangeline Parish School Board met Wednesday evening in the School Board Media Center.  It was standing room only as numerous students were recognized for their talents in music and art.  Jim Boyne, Retired Music Teacher, has been working with several of the students and he presented three students who performed for the crowd.  Ashanti Thomas of Ville Platte High School performed All I can do is Cry by Etta James, and Anna and Victoria Steckler of Bayou Chicot Elementary performed The Fight Song by Rachel Platt. 


The District Students of the Year were announced:


5th Grade:        Hannah Claire Manuel from Basille High School

8th Grade:        Jace Vidrine from Bayou Chicot Elementary

12th Grade:      Louis Henry Deville from Pine Prairie High School


Recognized as The Parent Volunteer of the Year from the State is Alisha Fontenot


Students placing at the Excellence in Art Show at Louisiana College were:

Averie Martello from Mamou High School – 1st place

Taylor Deville from Pine Prairie High School – 2nd place

Isac Calderon from Pine Prairie High School – 3rd place


2016 LSU Statewide Juried High School:


Averie Martello from Mamou High School


LAEA Youth Art Month 2016 Competition


Emma Manuel from Sacred Heart – Honorable Mention

Aniya Taylor from Bayou Chicot Elementary – 3rd place


2016 Scholastic Art Awards Southwest Art Region at Large


Taylar Deville from Pine Prairie High School – Gold Key Level

Noah Andrus from Mamou High School – Silver Key Level

Alex Soileau from Ville Platte High School – Honorable Mention


Three students have moved up and will be attending the FBLA Convention:


Seth Gautreaux from Pine Prairie High School

Court Fuller from Pine Prairie High School

Gabriel Cormier from Ville Platte High School


In other news, Superintendent, Toni Hamlin, reported that she and her staff watched the press conference of Governor, John Bel Edwards, and stated that K-12 Education can expect roughly $50 million in cuts because of the $792 million shortfall in the Louisiana Budget.  She stated “It’s a wait and see type of situation, but we will not be staffing at 100% until we know how everything will turn out.”  She also stated that the governor stated that the day after the Regular Session closes, they will begin a Special Session to work on financial issues.


The Ville Platte City Council held its monthly meeting Tuesday at City Hall.  There was some dispute and confusion as the owners of the Empire Nightclub, Frank Miller and Davina Davis, spoke to the Council and the Mayor regarding the granting of a business permit so they can re-open the bar.  Mr. Miller stated they have spent approximately $30,000.00 renovating the bar and are ready to open.  The nightclub is located in the area on West Main where the old Sonic is located.  The Mayor reported to the owners that they are not able to issue a business permit to them because of the City Ordinance stating that they cannot because the business is not at least 300 feet from 2 residences.  Mr. Miller then questioned how far that the Bulldog Sports Bar is from a residence.  He stated that he measured it himself and it is located less than 100 ft.  He stated that if “that’s the case, then we need to make sure everyone is held to that rule.”  He also presented a letter from the resident near the business with approval of opening the business.  He was asked to meet with the City Attorney, Eric Lafleur, with his findings and that he needed to have done his “due diligence in regard to opening a bar.”  We will keep you updated on the matter as it develops.


On a happy note, the Mayor and the City Council announced that they are doing “the right thing” and raising the City’s Minimum Wage from $7.25 to $8.00.  The increase in pay will be effective in the next fiscal year beginning in September, but could come earlier than that.  The City also announced they have granted a 3% increase in pay for salaried employees which will take effect next pay period.  It was also announced that the insurance premiums for employees will be going up 8%, but like last year when the rates rose 6%, the City will not be passing those costs on to the employees.  There will also be no deductible on the drug portion of their insurance.


Mayor, Jennifer Vidrine, reported that expenditures for the month of March was $307,186.46 compared to the month of February at $216,348.81.  That is an increase of $90,837.65.  The Mayor reported that the increase was due to the major water breaks in the Sewer System and the water well problems that the city has been experiencing.  She was happy to report that the Sales Tax Collection was up 4.86% from March of last year.  She thanked local business owners and those who shop locally. 


The City Council approved six new full-time and 2 part-time officers The Ville Platte City Police Department.  If all new hires pass all required testing, that will bring the number of officers to 30 fulltime and 18 patrolmen.  Fire Chief, Chris Harrison, reported that the department’s new recruit, Kyle Dupre, has completed the Academy and is now working.  It was noted that Kyle received the Teamwork Award while at the Academy. 

Ville Platte Chamber Releases Business Nominees


APRIL 12, 2016


     The Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce has released the nominees for Business Person of the Year and Business of the Year.

     The nominees for Business Person of the Year include: Scott and Amy Dupre for B&S Grocery, Luke Deville for Teet’s Food Store, Toni Hamlin for Evangeline Parish School System and Alana McCaskey for the Flower Patch.

    The nominees for Business of the Year include: B&S Grocery, H.L. Pitre and Sons, The Flower Patch and Uptown Cakes.

    Chamber members are urged to turn in their selections for both categories no later than noon Monday April 18 at the Chamber Office.

    The announcement of the winners in these categories as well as Ville Platte’s Man and Woman of the Year will be made at the Chamber banquet scheduled for Thursday April 28 at the Civic Center.

Ville Platte Rotary Club Hears from Judge Chuck West Tuesday


APRIL 12, 2016


     The Rotary Club of Ville Platte today (Tuesday) heard from 13th District Court, Division B Judge Chuck West.

      Judge West shared his experiences as a new judge to conduct three murder cases in two months. All three cases ended with a guilty verdict for the defendants.

      Judge West noted that some 475-500 potential jurors subpoenaed to choose three juries. In the last trial, the judge remarked that it took from 12 noon to 9:30 at night to choose the 14 person jury to hear the case.

    The trials took a lot of coordination from a lot of agencies including having a DNA expert brought in from Pennsylvania for one of the trials. Extra police was called in from the sheriff’s office, city police and city marshal to handle the security.

    “It is a big endeavor in time and money”, said Judge West adding that “it puts a strain on the parish on manpower and resources”. The judge commended the District Attorney’s office and everyone involved.

   There are no more murder trails scheduled for Division B however one is scheduled for Division A. Judge West was the special guest of Rotarian Jimmy LeBlanc.

    In other rotary news, President Mitch Fontenot reminded club members:

--a clean up is planned for the Heritage Park on Saturday April 23 from 8:30am to 12 noon;

--Shots for Tots is planned for the Health Unit Thursday April 28.

Mamou Police Officer Arrested and Charged with Malfeasance in Office

According to Evangeline Parish Sheriff, Eddie Soileau:



On Friday, April 6, 2016, Chief Allen Noel of Mamou Police Department contacted the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division for assistance with the misconduct of a Police Officer.


Chief Noel stated that on Friday, April 1, 2016 Mamou Police Officer Christopher Ryan Lemaire conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Martin Luther King and 6th street in Mamou. During Officer Lemaire’s traffic stop he received a verbal consent from the driver to search the vehicle. Officer Lemaire located an ounce of Marijuana and a bong. Officer Lemaire confiscated the drug and paraphernalia. Officer Lemaire then discarded the Evidence prematurely without authorization before processing it as Evidence. The driver admitted to the possession of both items found, but no arrest was made.


After a thorough and complete investigation, a Warrant of Arrest and Affidavit was authored by Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office. The Warrant was signed by 13th Judicial Judge Chuck West with a bond set at $25,000.00.

Lemaire was arrested and booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail on the charges of Malfeasance in Office. Bail posted.



Special Election Results April 9

Unofficial election results from Clerk of Court Randy Deshotel::


Chief of Police - Town of Mamou (43% Turnout)

Brent Zackary - 51% or 481 votes
Katina Richard - 49% or 459 votes

Ward 5 Fire Protection District Proposition - Tax Renewal (4.6% Turnout)

Yes - 95% or 102 votes
No - 5% or 5 votes


Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Arrest and Drug Seizure

According to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office – On Friday, March 18, 2016 Sheriff’s Deputies arrested one male subject and seized multiple narcotics and drug paraphernalia while dispatched to a residence for an Alarm Activation.  


31-year-old Bernard Bryan Caldwell II was arrested and booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail on drug and weapon charges.


Sheriff Eddie Soileau said his Investigators seized a large amount of Marijuana and a small amount of Cocaine. A firearm was also located in the residence and confiscated. All located at a residence on the 4000 block of Highway 167N.


Caldwell was charged with Possession of Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance (Cocaine), Cultivation/Distribution of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.


Bond was set at $55,000.00 by 13th Judicial Judge Gary Ortego. Subject posted bail   

Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office Arrest and Drug Seizure

According to the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office – On Friday, April 8, 2016 Sheriff’s Deputies arrested one male subject and seized multiple narcotics and drug paraphernalia while dispatched to a residence for a Noise Complaint.  


35-year-old Jeremy Michael Savant was arrested and booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail for Possession with intent to distribute Schedule I (Marijuana), Possession of Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance (Methamphetamine), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Sheriff Eddie Soileau said his Patrolman seized .656 ounces of Marijuana and .012 ounces of Methamphetamine, along with numerous items of drug paraphernalia. All located at a residence on the 200 block of Cheryl Street, Ville Platte.


Bond was not set at time of Press Release. 

Special Election for Mamou Chief of Police

A special election will be held this Saturday, April 9th, to determine who will take over as Chief of Police in Mamou.  Candidates in the run-off are Brent Zackery and Katina Richard.  Polls at Old Mamou City Hall, Maison D’egret House, Vidrine Fire Station and Celestine Neighborhood Center will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m. Former Mamou Chief of Police, Robert McGee, resigned from the position last year due to legal battles involving the use of Tasers on inmates.  KVPI News will keep you updated on the results of this special election.

Police Chief Neil Lartigue Speaks at Rotary Club Meeting


APRIL 5, 2016


     Ville Platte Chief of Police Neil Lartigue was the guest speaker at today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting of the Rotary Club of Ville Platte.

      Chief Lartigue said the crime rate is down in the city thanks to a large part because of having more police officers on the street. The chief said the mayor and city council is allowing the police more overtime to have more a police presence. In high crime areas, the department has begun a foot patrol unit.

     The police department is having a difficult time getting recruits to pass a psychological evaluation. On average, only one in six police recruits are passing the insurance required exam.

     Despite cuts to the Dare drug education program in schools, the police chief said he is planning to keep the Dare program being taught in our local schools. He said “DARE is an effective program and works well.”

     He said some of his personnel is actively involved in community projects such as Cops for A Cure, Relay for Life and an annual School Supply Drive for under privileged youth in the community.

     He shared the following statistics for the year 2015: 7057 calls, 457 citations, 706 arrests, 167 felony arrests and the police department worked 541 traffic accidents.

    Chief Lartigue was the special guest of Rotarian Ronnie Landreneau.

    In other Rotary news, there will be a clean up at the Heritage Park on April 23 along with the Sacred Heart Interact Club;

    Also, it was announced there was an open house at Cameron Plant today with the unveiling of a new sign reflecting the new owner of Cameron.  The new sign says “Cameron, a Schlumberger Company”. Officials from Schlumberger were at the Ville Platte plant today (Tuesday).

Evangeline Parish Police Jury Hacked by Use of Ransomware

KVPI News has been gathering information on a recent “hacking” of the Evangeline Police Jury’s computer system.  According to Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, the staff came in one morning and no one could access WORD files and other files.  The hackers used what’s known as Ransomware to target the Jury.  Basically, the hackers use Ransomware to “hijack” files and then demand money from big businesses all the way down to municipalities to gain re-access to their files.  Bergeron stated that there is a Louisiana Data Base Breach Law and after meeting with an unknown law enforcement agency, he was told their case did not meet the criteria of that law that required the police, public or employees to be notified.  He reported that their documents were “encrypted but not taken from them.”  Bergeron also stated that the Employee Data Base was not breached; however, he asked that employees “be cautious, as always”.  The Police Jury will be sending out a letter to all employees on the matter.  We will keep you updated with any new details as they become available.

Evangeline Parish Police Jury April Meeting and 911 Update

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury held meetings today beginning at 3:30.  There was much discussion regarding 911 services and the transition being made into the new facility as well as the task of changing how 911 calls and non-emergency calls are dispatched.  Sheriff, Eddie Soileau, will no longer be dispatching for other municipalities and that has shifted how calls are handled.  Assistant District Attorney and Counsel for the Communications Board, Nicole Gil, spoke to a crowded Jury room filled with emergency personnel ranging from Pine Prairie, Turkey Creek, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ward 5, Mamou, Ville Platte, Chataignier, Lone Pine, Bayou Chicot, St. Landry, as well as the 911 department and Board.  Because the Sheriff is not going to provide dispatching for outside entities any longer, each municipality will need to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with 911.  Each municipality was given a Draft Agreement to present to each Board of Directors for approval.  Once all of the agreements come back from those Boards, they will then be presented to the Police Jury for final approval.  911 Director, Liz Hill, explained that due to law enforcement calls being added into the equation, her office had to apply for NCIC approval which takes approximately 6 month to gain, although she stated they are on the fast-track to obtain that approval, it is now at the federal level and she is not certain of when approval will be.  She wanted the public to know that “There was never a possibility that citizens would not have 911 services.  She said she does not know where that rumor came from but she has answered calls from citizens who said they were “scared” and there is no reason to be.  Another meeting has been set for June 6th; however, they are hoping to get all of the agreements back before that date.  A special meeting will be called if they are successful.  Juror, Eric Soileau, thanked everyone for coming and said the input was a big help.  “It needed to happen”


In other Jury news, Secretary/Treasurer, Donald Bergeron, reported that 12 customers of the Reddell/Vidrine Water District who were extremely delinquent in paying their sewer bill were contacted that they would be cut-off for non-payment.  10 of those customers have made contact and made arrangements to pay their bills which will bring in approximately $20.000.

Boggy Bayou Festival Big Success in Pine Prairie over the wEEKEND

The 2016 Boggy Bayou Festival was a big success this past weekend in Pine Prairie. The annual event was for the benefit of the Prairie Manor Nursing home. Bernice Ardoin and members of the board would like to thank the hundreds of people who packed the festival grounds all three days for the event for the carnival rides, food and great musical entertainment. KVPI’s Stephanie Ware and Raquel Manuel were there broadcasting live on remote Friday night during the Wicked Waters show.


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